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I am working now with a Linux-based system, that has several network interfaces according to ifconfig. Some of them have strange naming, e.g. eth0:1 or eth0.2.

What might this kind of naming (with a second number) mean about the purpose of the corresponding interfaces? Are they standard for some particular networking configurations in Linux or is it manually assigned by the system administrator/engineer? How would one begin to investigate on their purpose?

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Those names correspond to network subinterfaces, that is, the logical division of physical interfaces.

You can create them in the same way that you create any interface in /etc/network/interfaces (or the corresponding file for your distribution), so eth0:1 means the first network subinterface of network interface eth0, eth0:2 the second network subinterface of network interface eth0 and so on...

By searching in Google for "Linux network subinterfaces" you will find a lot of information about it.

  • This. Also be aware that network device names have been changing in recent releases of many different distros – ivanivan Jan 3 '17 at 13:44

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